To enhance the safety and welfare of its students and employees, Pennsylvania College of Technology will begin conducting background checks for all full-time faculty and staff positions − as well as a number of other job categories − as part of its hiring process.
Background checks will be required for all new job searches that begin on or after Oct. 29.
The background checks will include a Social Security number trace; a criminal-conviction database search at the county, state and national levels; and sex-offender registry.
A motor-vehicle record check will be conducted for individuals in positions requiring a driver’s license. A credit check will be conducted only for senior administrators and selected positions as deemed appropriate, based on job responsibilities.
College supervisors already conduct reference checks on new and transferring employees to inquire about past performance, character, interpersonal skills and attendance to determine whether candidates have the ability to perform the position duties and meet other expectations, said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. The college is adding the additional level of candidate review to further increase the safety of the college community.
“Pre-employment background and reference checking should be viewed as a proactive way to reduce turnover and build a high-quality work force,” Gilmour said. “Thorough background and reference checks are the best defense against negligent hiring claims and an unsafe workplace.”
Other job categories that will be subject to the background checks are current part-time employees who transfer to full-time positions; part-time instructors hired to teach credit or noncredit courses; any selected applicant who checks “yes” to the question on the Penn College application for employment pertaining to prior criminal convictions; and any position that includes driving responsibilities, on-campus or off-campus, not covered in another category.
Also subject to the requirement will be those hired for selected positions in Accounting Operations, Human Resources, Information Technology Services and Purchasing; members of the senior administration; and others as determined appropriate, based on position responsibilities.
The background checks also will be conducted on new or transferring employees for positions requiring special checks − such as employees working in The Children’s Learning Center, Penn College Police officers, commercial-license (CDL) drivers and others as required by federal or state law.